Colin Montgomerie has some tough decisions in store as he prepares to name his European Ryder Cup side to confront the USA at the Celtic Manor Resort in South Wales.
Peter Hanson leapt from 15th to eighth in the Ryder Cup standings after his victory in the Czech Open at the Prospect Golf Resort, Celadna, knocking former match play champion Paul Casey out of the automatic spots.
Europe are looking to regain the trophy after losing out to the Americans at Valhalla in 2008, ending a three match winning streak.
The Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles takes place this week and is the last chance for any Europeans to win Ryder Cup points, a chance that Casey, Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington and Justin Rose have declined to take, instead playing in the lucrative FedEx Cup play-off series.
Miguel Angel Jiminez is currently in the last automatic spot and is taking the opportunity to cement his place in the team at Gleneagles in order to keep out rivals Ross McGowan, Simon Dyson and Alvaro Quiros.
Hanson’s victory leaves a high calibre of players, including Casey, Harrington and Sergio Garcia, nervously waiting to see if they can gain a spot through Montgomerie’s wild card picks, and with others such as Donald, Rose and Robert Karlsson hoping for the same, Montgomerie will have a tough task choosing the best three that will improve the team.
The European team is looking strong thus far with two Major winners in Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell alongside Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and match play specialists Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher.
Francesco Molinari joins Peter Hanson as the only rookies in the team but Europe look solid at 4/7 to beat the Americans and triumph on British soil.
Montgomeries wild card picks are only going to enhance the calibre of this team and Europe justify their odds on favouritism. See the full Ryder Cup golf betting market here.